Is it possible to enjoy this holiday season guilt-free without packing on the extra pounds? Absolutely! Some estimates indicate that the average American gains about 1 pound or more each holiday season. That may not seem like a lot one year at a time, but over a decade, that’s ten extra pounds and a whole lot of added health risk.
Staying on track can be a challenge for anyone during the holiday season with changes in routine, added stress, and more than enough treats to go around. Use these tips from our health coaches to be prepared and confident in your ability to enjoy all the holiday has to offer, guilt-free!
- Never go to a party on an empty stomach. Don’t skip meals before a gathering. Have small meals throughout the day or healthy snacks before heading to the party. You will be less tempted to overindulge once you get there. Laura Yautz, Registered and Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist
- Get up and move! Avoid skipping physical activity by planning your workouts ahead of time and using every opportunity possible to park farther away, take the stairs, or take small activity breaks when you can. Mandy Budzowski, Exercise Physiologist
- Keep a food log. If you want to stay on track throughout the holidays, write down what you eat, what you drink and how much you exercise in a journal. By holding yourself accountable and tracking everything you eat and drink, you are more likely to be mindful about what you are putting into your mouth. Angela O’Donnell, Registered Dietitian
- Limit alcohol. Alcoholic beverages offer little to no nutritional value and can lead to excess weight gain. Try alternating between beverages and water to avoid over indulging. Christian Gabarda, Exercise Physiologist
- Eat when you are hungry. One way to avoid overeating and indulging in unnecessary calories is to eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed! Once you start to feel full, slow down or stop all together. Elana Barkowitz, Public Health Educator
- Savor the flavor. Take time to pay attention to each bite and make every meal mindful. Enjoy your food and appreciate the texture, taste, and flavors you’re experiencing. Angela Nemeth, Sports Performance Enhancement Specialist
Don’t forget, the holidays are a time to celebrate good times with your family and friends. By planning ahead and being mindful you can avoid holiday weight gain. Happy holidays!